Songs of Praise

Final preparations are in hand to drive north on Sunday,with some good friends, to join the Churches in the Pitlochry area, to meet at the Festival Theatre Garden, and sing some well-kent melodies and harmonies.

For those of us who love to exercise our lungs in public, what is it that makes joining in a large choir so wonderful? Is it the comradeship, the mutual mistakes, the thrill of well-sung harmony, or some strange primitive sensation bringing us together in a common purpose, where no-one is more important than others, and equality is all?

A few months ago I joined over 500 other choristers in the Glasgow City Hall to practise and then perform the Brahms German Requiem, all on one day! Some feat…..and (besides several Austrian holidays) one of the few occasions when I was able to justify the time spent as a youth learning the gutteral formation of awkward long words!

However it was a wonderful event and the sheer numbers of those singing the same part as I was, carried me forward to the right notes (well, at least, mostly!).

So, be prepared for a report next week, on the weather, the singing, and the hardness of the seats (as we have been warned to bring cushions!).

Quo Vadis youth?

I think that the spate of killings by relatively-young people has introduced a scary aspect into our view of respect for others. The fact that a teenager can, by using a gun, knife, or simply a kick, deprive another person of the most human right of all, that of life, must be one of the greatest problem to be tackled by society. Surely the talk of human rights has to be applied first of all to a victim and his/her family, and must supercede the demands of a thug, of whatever age.

Just now we don’t seem to have a way for a large number of our young people to work off aggression or energy in a constructive manner. Many of course do get through the difficult time of teenagehood unscathed, but what can be done about, or for those who go badly off the rails?

Is it beyond the wit of parents, friends, teachers, society in general, and Governments, to develop the concept of respect for the property and life of others….or have we all, in our own way, lost some of that respect so they are only a reflection of what they see in us?

Losing direction?

The old faithful Sat Nav has started to give problems. I’ve had it for several years and it has been a faithful servant. Now, let’s get one thing straight…. I loved geography at school, I can read maps, and I have always loved planning (just ask the family), and then finding my way along a journey, whether it be on  holiday or on business.

However, with today’s busy roads, and the extremely large atlases now on sale, it is hardly practical or safe to be trying to navigate in this manner. So, a new one had to be acquired, and a new set of instructions and display options to be mastered…..all just in time for a number of long-distance journeys about to be undertaken.

But the atlas will still be with us…just in case!